Seasonal Storage Tips: How to Prepare Your RV or Boat for Storage California

Published on 11/28/2023

Seasonal Storage Tips: How to Prepare Your RV or Boat for Storage California

As the seasons change in North Highlands and throughout California, so do the needs of your RV or boat. Storing these valuable possessions requires thoughtful preparation to ensure they remain in the best condition to last as long as they can. At Caraspace RV and Boat Storage, we’re not just about providing space; we’re about offering solutions. 

Here's your guide to seasonally preparing your RV or boat for storage, ensuring they’re protected, whatever the weather.

Winter Storage Preparation for RV & Boats

1. Protect Against the Cold: Northern California winters aren’t as severe as other states, but can be harsh on any equipment if not properly prepared. Drain all water tanks and lines in your RV or boat to prevent freezing and cracking. Take it a step further and use antifreeze specifically designed for RVs and boats to ensure intricate devices aren’t damaged by the cold.

2. Battery Care: Remove batteries from both RVs and boats, especially if you intend on storing for an extended amount of time. Keep them in a cool, dry place to prevent freezing and extend the life of your batteries.

3. Cover Up: Invest in a high-quality, breathable cover. This protects your vehicle from rain, snow, and debris. For boats, ensure the cover is snug to prevent water pooling. Caraspace North Highlands is maintained to ensure the facility stays clean and clear of debris, but wind can still carry dust and dirt.

4. Pest Control: Rodents love to nest in stationary vehicles. Close all vents and openings, and consider using natural deterrents like peppermint oil to protect interior and exterior from any unwanted guests.

5. Inspect and Maintain Seals and Weather Stripping:

RVs: Before storing your RV for the winter, it’s crucial to check all seals and weather stripping around windows, doors, and slide-outs. Cold and moisture can exacerbate any existing cracks or gaps, leading to water damage or an infestation. Repair or replace any damaged seals. This will not only protect the interior from the elements but also help to maintain the internal temperature if you're using any form of climate control inside your RV.

Boats: Similarly, inspect all the seals on your boat, particularly those in hatches, windows, and doors. Any weak points could allow moisture to seep in, which can be especially problematic in the cold, damp winter months. Proper sealing is essential to protect the interior cabin spaces and the bilge area from water damage and to prevent mold and mildew growth during the storage period.

Spring Into Action

1. De-Winterize: If you’ve winterized your RV or boat, now’s the time to reverse the process. Check all systems, refill fluids, and get ready for the active season.

2. Safety Checks: Test all safety equipment, including fire extinguishers, life jackets, and emergency gear.

3. System Checks and Maintenance:

RVs: In spring, it's crucial to inspect all operational systems. Check the HVAC system, water system (including the water heater and pumps), and all appliances to ensure they're functioning correctly. This is also a good time to check the brakes, lights, and towing mechanisms.

Boats: For boats, spring is the time to perform engine maintenance. This includes changing the engine oil, oil filters, and checking the cooling system. Also, inspect the propeller for any damage and ensure the bilge pump is functioning properly. Don't forget to check the electrical system, including the battery, lights, and electronics.

4. Aesthetic and Structural Care: Give both your RV and boat a good wash and wax. This not only enhances their appearance but also provides a protective layer against UV rays and environmental contaminants. Inspect and address any issues with the exterior paint or decals, as these can deteriorate over time, especially under the sun's intense rays. For boats, check the hull integrity and look for any signs of osmosis or gelcoat blisters, which are more common after a wet winter season.

Gearing Up for Summer

1. Check Systems: Before you hit the road or water, do a preflight check on all systems. These checks should include plumbing, electrical systems, and appliances in your RV. In addition to typical vehicle maintenance like checking the battery, oil, and the engine for smooth operation. For boats, inspect the hull and the engine to safeguard from surprises when you launch on the water.

2. Tire Pressure: Tires lose pressure over time, parked and waiting, tire pressure will slowly lower. Inflate them to the recommended level to avoid flats or blowouts.

3. Clean and Inspect: Give your RV or boat a thorough cleaning. Check for any signs of wear or damage. Take note and record any existing conditions that you notice, small or large.

3. Air Conditioning and Ventilation System Check:

RVs: Before the summer heat sets in, it's essential to check and maintain the air conditioning system in your RV. Clean or replace all filters, and check the coolant levels to ensure efficient operation. Also, inspect the vents and ductwork for any blockages or debris. A well-functioning air conditioning system not only provides comfort but also helps in controlling humidity levels inside the RV.

Boats: While boats may not have an extensive air conditioning system like RVs, ensuring proper ventilation is crucial during summer. Check and clean all vents and ensure they are open and unobstructed. If your boat has a cabin with air conditioning, similar maintenance as for RVs should be performed. Proper ventilation is key to preventing mold and mildew growth and maintaining a comfortable environment on board, especially during hot, sunny days.

Fall Preparations for Storage

1. Moisture Control: With the rainy season approaching, consider using moisture absorbers inside your RV or boat to prevent mold and mildew buildup. 

2. Ventilation: Slightly open vents in your RV to allow air circulation, reducing the chances of interior damage. Make sure not to leave too large of a space so that pests don’t have room to move in.

3. Fuel System Maintenance: 

RVs: Fill up your RV's fuel tank to prevent condensation from accumulating inside the tank during the cooler, more humid fall months. Adding a fuel stabilizer can also help maintain the fuel's quality while it's stored. Run the engine for a few minutes to circulate the stabilizer through the system.

Boats: Similar to RVs, it's advisable to fill the boat's fuel tank and add a stabilizer. However, for boats, especially those with outboard motors, you might consider draining the fuel system entirely, as recommended by the manufacturer, to prevent any deterioration or build-up in the carburetor. Refer to direction provided by your boat manufacturer for specific guidance.

4. Thorough Inspection and Cleaning: Conduct a thorough inspection of the exterior, looking for cracks, leaks, or any other damage that might be exacerbated by cooler, wetter weather. Pay special attention to seals and seams, and apply sealant as needed. Clean the exterior thoroughly to remove any dirt, grime, or salt residue (particularly important for boats) that could cause damage over time. For the interior, remove all perishables and clean thoroughly to avoid attracting pests and to prevent mold and mildew growth.

Year-Round Tips

1. Regular Check-ups: Even in storage, regular check-ups are crucial. At Caraspace, we encourage periodic visits to ensure everything is as it should be.

2. Insurance and Documentation: Keep your RV and boat insurance updated. It’s essential even when your vehicle is in storage.

3. Regularly Check and Maintain Tires and Axles:

RVs: Tires are crucial for RV safety, yet they're often overlooked, especially when an RV is in storage. Regularly inspect the tires for signs of wear, cracks, or damage, and maintain proper air pressure, even when the RV is not in use. Also, check the axle and suspension systems for any signs of rust or wear. This is important to ensure that your RV is road-ready at any time of the year.

Boats: For boat trailers, tire maintenance is equally important. Check the tire pressure, look for signs of wear or dry rot, and make sure the lug nuts are tightened correctly. Inspect the wheel bearings and ensure they are adequately greased. Properly maintained tires and axles on your boat trailer are essential for safe and reliable transport to and from the water.

Store your RV or Boat at Caraspace Storage

At Caraspace RV and Boat Storage in Northern California, we understand the importance of proper seasonal preparation. Our facility offers the ideal environment for keeping your RV or boat safe, with features designed for optimal storage conditions. Remember, investing time in preparing your vehicle for storage not only preserves its condition but also ensures it’s ready for adventure whenever you are.

Contact the expert Caraspace team today if you have any questions, otherwise check our rates for trailer, boat or RV storage spaces in North Highlands.